Midwest Charm with Anna

It’s Ok To NOT Be Ok

Leather Leggings: Express, Peplum: J.Crew, Necklace: Banana Republic, Boots: Sam Edelman

I’ve got a great family, amazing friends, a good job, I love to have fun and the list could go on. I have so much going for me, why am I still unhappy? Is there something wrong with me? These are thoughts that I internalized for longer than I even realized. Mentally I wasn’t in a good place. There were a lot of days that I had to work really hard to be happy. Not every day, however, it did start to feel like I was in a constant battle with myself. It seemed weird for someone like me who would typically describe themselves as a happy, outgoing girl. Recently, I had what I describe as “an epic mental break down” and that’s when it occurred to me that something was wrong. I wasn’t ok. I cracked and it scared me. I knew it was time to speak out and get the support that I needed so that I could be the absolute best version of myself. I talked to my family, I talked to close friends and with that, I took the first step in the right direction to get myself to a better place. This is where I am at in my life. Mental health is an unfortunate issue to have to face, but it is nothing to be ashamed of. Like I mentioned in my last post, sometimes life throws a little more at us than we can handle alone.

For those of you that don’t know my story, I will give you a little idea of what I have been walking through. Five years ago I lost my Dad which left my family with a massive void in our lives. No one teaches you how to handle a loss such as that and I handled it terribly! I internalized a lot of my emotions. My famous line was “I’m fine!”, and truly, most days I was! I trusted that my Dad was in a better place and I had a world of amazing support seeing me through the tough times. Nevertheless, I had a lot of hurt happening on the inside as well. Life went on and I went on to graduate from MSU and accept a job in Holland, an amazing little town that I absolutely adored. Life was good but unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I was onto the next big devastation that I faced. I was in a long term relationship that proved to be emotionally and physically abusive. It wasn’t healthy for either of us and was for the best that we ended up breaking up. Again, I felt like I had a massive void in my life. This sparked what I mark as my first big mental break down. By saying that, I just mean that emotionally, I really struggled. This is where the blog came into play. I love that I was able to find a hobby and an outlet. I became very passionate about it and it was (and still is) very fun for me. After a few months, I really felt like I was on the uphill climb. I went on to have a great summer, accept a job in Texas and then move there. After a short stay in Austin, Texas, I moved back to Michigan. While I did like Texas, it just wasn’t for me! Being back in Michigan was great, but ultimately led to yet another epic mental break down. I had met a great boy and though we weren’t together long, when things started to fail between us, I freaked out. My behavior was crazy and I felt like I had totally lost control of my emotions… again. I knew at this point I couldn’t face these struggles on my own. I tried and while I thought I was doing well, it was clear that these problems were bigger than me. Another mental break down was a good indicator that I wasn’t doing well emotionally. It was hard to admit because no one wants to admit they have a problem. I finally reached out to my family and I felt like I had a massive weight lifted off of my shoulders. I didn’t have to put on a show for anyone. I was weak and they let me break down and then picked me back up. I think it’s safe to say that at times, my circumstances weren’t ideal and caused some unhappiness. But it’s not fair to blame everything on what had happened. I was reminded by a good friend that no one knows how the brain works. Chemically, it’s very possible that something was off. I’m not sure what goes on up there but there are Doctors that are. With the support of my family, I started to see a psychiatrist and also a psychologist. I had to face the fact that I was facing a mild form of depression. They educated me on the importance of addressing the chemical imbalances in the brain but also the behavioral side of things. I certainly think they are related, but they are handled differently.

I am very thankful for my family for walking through the ups and downs of this life with me. I have the world’s most amazing Mom and Sisters. Surrounding yourself with people that will love you through your worst is so important and it is such a gift. I am very blessed to have such incredible people in my life.  This would all be easy to feel ashamed about but I’m not ashamed! Hence why I am able to share all of this so openly. I am not ashamed because the people in my life have reminded me that it’s ok to not be ok. Life is hard. Rather than being ashamed, I am proud that I was able to realize that I needed help to be the best version of myself. I think I hit rock bottom, and maybe I hit it twice! I always think of this quote from J.K Rowling, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” I am rebuilding my life and now I can do it with with a big smile on my face!

While I realize this post has almost nothing to do with fashion, I thought it was worth sharing because this is where I am at in my life. I like allowing my readers to know the real me. Like I said, I think social media can be deceiving and I would hate for anyone to get the wrong idea of me. It would be easy to look at my blog or my Instagram and think, “This girl seems to have it all together”…Ha! Far from the truth! And that’s ok. I am ok with that! I think I have had an amazing life thus far, with plenty of ups and downs. Psalm 46:5 says, “God is within her, she will not fail”. I am not perfect and there is no sense in pretending like I am. I am fighting to make my life great and I trust that God won’t let me fail. He might let me bend but he won’t let me break. When you feel like your life is falling apart, take a deep breath and try to look at the bigger picture. It is not falling apart but rather, it’s coming together. And when life gets to be too much, realize that it’s ok to admit that you can’t do it on your own. Seek help, see a therapist, and realize it’s really not a big deal! There is nothing wrong with talking through your emotions. It’s not good to internalize things! One of my good friends, Sarah, texted me the other day and made me laugh. She said that her Dad sometimes jokes, “Half the world is in therapy and the other half should be!”. I loved it! While I do think that mental health is a serious issue, I think we also have to be able to laugh at ourselves. The brain works in mysterious ways and this is one crazy life! The combination can be interesting! Doing whatever it takes to be the best version of yourself is not shameful, it’s commendable. Remember, everyone’s got something! Never judge a book by it’s cover.

One last thing! I’ve never talked about Karrie but I do feel like she deserves a little shout out because a lot of the things I say (well at least the wise things that I say) were likely inspired by her. She is the lady that I used to babysit for. While this doesn’t mean much to you, I tell you because not only has she become one of my very best friends but she has been an incredible mentor to me over the years. She is older, wiser and knows how to fun! I love that about her. I am very close to her and her husband Steve. They have 4 beautiful girls and they are all like family! I absolutely love them!  They have given me a lot of smiles and helped me through a lot of tough times. I am very grateful for all that they are and all that they do. The other day Karrie and I were chatting and she told me that when she struggles, she does 3 specific things. If you are struggling, here is a little advice that was given to me: 1) Get on your knees a little more (PRAY!) 2) Exercise (Endophins!) 3) Take a pass on that glass of wine (alcohol is a depressant!). Even the smallest steps are good steps in the right direction!

I hope this post was helpful. I know I threw a lot of there, but like it said, if I can help even just one person through sharing my story, then it was worth sharing! Life is so good and it is meant to be enjoyed. Do what it takes to get yourself to a point where you can enjoy it to the fullest! You are all loved, you are all important and you are all special! I hope everyone has a great Sunday.

Xoxo, Anna      

p.s. good news coming to the blog next! 

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